Brad Clapp of Chilliwack, BC, eagled the 72nd hole to shoot a final round 5-under 67 to cap off his victory at the Great Waterway Classic at Loyalist Golf and Country Club on Sunday.
The 28-year-old won his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada event by four shots over Toronto’s Albin Choi, Americans Seath Lauer, Ryan Brehm, Ben Geyer, and Chase Marinell and England’s Charlie Bull. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a little surreal, knowing how good this tour is and knowing how good you have to play four days in a row. It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Clapp, who moves to seventh on the Order of Merit with three events to go.
Clapp began the day with a two-stroke lead over Tom Moore of the U.S., and started out with eight straight pars to fall behind Lauer, who posted the clubhouse lead with an eagle at the last for a 19-under total. Clapp admitted that the pressure of the lead got to him starting out, but that a patient approach helped him through the toughest spots of the day.
The British Columbian was spurred on by a large following of spectators including family and childhood friends that gave him a surrogate home-field advantage at Loyalist. “I didn’t realize I had that many people that knew me out here still. There was always someone saying ‘come on Brad, let’s do this!’ It was nice to have as much of a home crowd as you could. It was a little surreal,” said Clapp, who birdied the ninth and 10th holes to get his round going.
Choi, who began the week at No. 5 on the Order of Merit, made the day’s biggest charge with six birdies in eight holes in the middle of his round to reach 20-under. Clapp, however, took the lead for good with a birdie at the 15th to reach 21-under. Although Choi’s three-putt bogey at the last gave Clapp a two-stroke advantage, the eventual champion said he didn’t know where he stood until he approached the green, making his seven-iron approach at the last to inside five feet for eagle all the more clutch.
Entering the week at 67th on the Order of Merit, Clapp turned his season around and now puts himself in contention to finish in The Five and earn status on the Web.com Tour for next year. “I’m not sure where this will put me with the top 20 or the top five by the end of the year, but that’s been my main goal since I got on this tour last year, to move on to the Web.com Tour and keep testing myself again better players. That puts me right in those spots, and we still have three events to go and hopefully I’ll move on up into that top five,” Clapp said.
Spaun continues to lead The Five
With a T19 finish, J.J. Spaun maintained his spot atop the Order of Merit. Below are The Five through The Great Waterway Classic (bold denotes Canadian):
- J.J. Spaun – $78,384
- Sam Ryder – $56,538
- Albin Choi – $49,806
- Drew Weaver – $45,487
- Kevin Spooner – $41,689
Clapp wins Freedom 55 Financial Top Canadian Award
With his total score of 23-under, Brad Clapp claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours along with a $2,500 prize. Each week, the top Canadian on the leaderboard will earn the award, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end earning the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and a $25,000 prize.
Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada